Belize Information

10 Things You Should Know About Belize

By Angela Wu, Luis Manzanero 5/14/2020 5 minutes

Belize is definitely an underrated country for what it has to offer. Filled with the friendliest people on earth, the most mouthwatering foods in Central America, magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna, and such diverse ecosystems. Not to mention, the landscape is kept mostly untouched. You will get to see nature in a pristine state and experience first hand why Belize is nature’s best-kept secret.

Belize reopens for travel on August 15th! Find out more about the new travel restrictions and procedures that will be in place. Download Episode 23 of The Belize Travelcast for more information about the new Belize Gold Standards for Health and Safety.
Belize has it all for every type of traveler. Belize has a low population density, which means you won't find the huge crowds of tourists that other destinations have. We've also worked very hard to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, with just a handful of cases. We miss you, and we hope to see you soon. Here are 10 reasons why you should put Belize on your travel bucket list.

1. Rich in Culture.

Nestled between the countries of Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, Belize has an area of only 22,966 km². The population is hardly bigger than a small city in the United States of America; but, don’t get it mixed up! Although the population currently stands at 381,008 people, there are over ten different ethnic groups residing in the country. Truly, we are a melting pot. Cultures such as Mestizo, Maya, Garinagu, Creole, East Indian, Mennonite, Lebanese, Chinese and many others all reside under the shade of this tiny tropical paradise.


2. English Speaking.

Interesting, right? What’s also interesting is the fact that Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America with the official language as English. Although English is the official language, other languages such as Spanish and Kriol are spoken by a large portion of the population. In addition to that, the languages of the various ethnic groups are also spoken.

Don’t know Kriol or Spanish? No worries, everyone in Belize speaks with a heart for knowledge and adventure. Get to know unique features of Belize that can’t be seen or experienced anywhere else in the world. From iconic landmarks such as The Great Blue Hole to the Maya temples, there is much to learn about the world’s wonders; and, Belize is the best place to do so.


Part 1 of 2
Belizean Anthropologist, Joe Awe from Nine Belize Eco-Cultural Tours, sits down to talk about the people of Belize and the origins of Belize's melting pot of cultures.
The Belize airport will reopen for international travel on August 15th. In this episode we provide a summary of the information you need before you visit and what to expect while you ... moreare in Belize.

3. Largest Living Barrier Reef.

Belize holds the record and recognition for the world’s second longest barrier reef system and the world's largest living barrier reef system in the world! Talk about fascinating! Our barrier reef is also the first largest in the western hemisphere. For everyone who would like to see the reef and all its glory, start Belizing today and book your tour to go snorkeling at Mexico Rocks, where there is a rainbow of coral formations and plenty juvenile fishes, or Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where there is less coral formations but has a variety of bigger fishes. Sounds amazing, right? Who wouldn’t want to be at Belize’s barrier reef?  


4. Island Escape.

After your snorkeling trip, you can tour the islands of Belize, which are close by! You can pick, choose, and refuse where you would like to visit. There are about two hundred islands in Belize. No need to fight, there’s enough sand, sun, and sea for all of us! Even Leonardo DiCaprio wanted a piece of paradise – he owns an island here in Belize.  This, together with our low population density means that you might enjoy a day on a small island without hardly seeing anyone else. It's the perfect social distancing destination. Kicking back on the beach with a beer in hand while Madonna’s La Isla Bonita plays in the background sounds like the perfect vacation to me! The main island towns in Belize are San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) and Caye Caulker.

5. World Class Diving.

Whether you are an expert diver or a novice, Belize has something for you. Belize is home to one of the most renowned landmarks in the diving world known as the Great Blue Hole. Belize offers many other spectacular dive spots such as Hol Chan Canyons, Spanish Bay Wall, and Caye Caulker Canyons.
Never dived before? No problem. Check out this PADI diving experience course in Placencia.

6. Ancient Maya Temples.

Not a fan of the beach? Don’t sweat it, mainland has your back. Explore Belize’s tropical rainforests and feel the history as you climb up the temples of ancient Maya Civilizations! Belize has over nine hundred Maya Sites throughout the country! From the heights of Xunantunich to the conch shell remains of Marco Gonzalez, Maya history is an evident and vital aspect of today’s Belize. 
POP QUIZ! What is the tallest building in Belize? Figured it out yet? The answer is not a corporate office but rather a Maya Ruin. Those ancient Maya structures stand tall and proud – just like every Belizean. The tallest building in Belize is the Caana temple at the Caracol archaeological site.


7. Birding Paradise.

On top of these temples, you will meet the most scenic views of our landscape. Be sure to keep your eyes open in case you catch one of our almost six hundred species of birds! Have your binoculars and cameras ready to snap a picture of the vibrant Keel-billed Toucan, Belize’s national bird. Be sure to check out the annual Belize Birding Festival to find out more about birding in Belize.


8. Rainforest and Caves.

Climbing down the temples, we meet the most exquisite caves and cave systems that exist on record. Belize has the longest and largest cave system in Central America, and hosts this cave system in the largest contiguous block of tropical rainforest north of the Amazon. Belize has the highest percentage of forest cover in Central America and there are 103
protected areas which constitute approximately 36 percent of the country’s land territory. Talk about tooting our own horns! One of the most famous caves in the country is the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave. Be careful, though! Inside the cave still has the remains of human bones, pottery and artifacts.

9. Jaguar Reserve.

As much as we promote our jewels to the world, we also take pride in protecting and conserving what Mother Nature has blessed us with. In fact, Belize is the first and only country in the world to create a Jaguar nature preserve, known as The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve. 

Still sitting in front of your computer screen? Start Belizing and take a trip to The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve! Yes, you can visit this reserve! Lace up your tennis shoes and take a hike on the nature trails to see spectacular waterfalls and picturesque mountain views.


10. Delicious Food.

After all the adventures, don’t forget to satisfy the tummy! Remember, a hungry man is an angry man – and no one likes an angry man. Local cuisines are mouthwatering and satisfying! If your body is not in shape for the adventure, let your taste buds do the adventure for you. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is on us! Any of our roadside food shacks or in-town restaurants will be glad to serve up a delicious plate of our signature dish, rice and beans with stewed chicken and salad. But don’t stop there! Try our salbutes, panades, tacos, cow foot soup, escabeche, chimole, bollos, sere, boil up and dukunu, just to name a few. Don’t know what I just listed? Let’s go Belizing and you’ll find out! There is much to discover, learn and experience in Belize.

Are you ready to go Belizing?

Learn More
Tours/Activities
$
65
/ Person
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Bring your family to this amazing reserve at the edge of the Barrier Reef. Very easy and fun-filled for all ages. Meet new friends like sea turtles, nurse sharks, eagle rays, large ... moregroupers among the hundreds of other species.

Experience uniqueness in every aspect!
The experience starts from the moment we greet you to the moment we say goodbye. Our crew is a group of trained and experienced tour guides that will make sure you don’t miss any fun fact while diving & snorkeling at our local reef. Caribbean Breeze Tours can assure you a time to remember forever.

A family and group-oriented adventure where everyone can enjoy the marvel of a Marine Reserve on the Belize Barrier Reef. The water is so clear that snorkeling at Hol Chan is so amazing. The deepest areas of Hol-Chan are about 30 feet, making it easy for divers & snorkelers to skin dive down to the white sandy bottoms.

Glide among sea fans, sponges, brain corals, and gorgonians as you drift over canyon formations where large groupers, turtles, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks and various tropical creatures live.
$
40
/ Person
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Just a 20 minutes ride from our dive shop is this beautiful collection of giant brain corals, great star corals, elkhorn corals, staghorn corals and vibrant inhabitants like butterflyfishes, ... morespiny lobster, yellowtails, and stingrays.

What will you experience?

The adventure experience starts from the moment we greet you to the moment we say goodbye. Our crew is a group of trained and experienced tour guides that will make sure you don’t miss any fun fact while snorkeling at Mexico Rocks & Dos Cosos.

Experience something else!
First, we stop at Mexico Rocks, a coral patch between the reef and the shores of Ambergris Caye, where you begin a snorkeling experience you won't forget. Snorkeling here is mainly boasted by the magnificent boulder formations of Brain Corals, Elk Horns and Great Star Corals that provide shelter for the tropical fishes and critters. Some of them include spiny lobsters, yellowtail snappers, and stingrays. A cave looking like a path is also found here where you will find hundreds of baby snappers starring at you while you glide over them.
$
55
/ Person
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Provider:
THE BEST SNORKELING IN THE WORLD! This Half Day adventure starts at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where our guides will show you around the spectacular snorkel area. Then head on to Shark ... moreRay Alley, where you will encounter sharks and rays in their natural habitat.

Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize's oldest marine reserve, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for 'little channel." The reserve was formed primarily as a community-based initiative due to concern over the high level of uncontrolled, often destructive fishing and diving activities in the area.

For several years, local fishermen often cleaned their catch in Shark Ray Alley, located just inside the reef, to the south of Ambergris Caye. When fishermen noticed that their activity had attracted Nurse Sharks and several Southern Sting Rays, they reported this information to the dive operations in San Pedro, who then dispatched some divers to investigate. What they found was a bonanza, and "Shark-Ray Alley" quickly became a very popular dive site.

As soon as your boat arrives in the area, the guide points out all of the dark shadows in the shallow (eight foot deep) waters. These are the sharks and rays that hear the boat approach and come in search of a few scraps of fish.

Please note, Half Day Trips leave at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.
$
90
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Xunantunich was a classic period Maya ceremonial and residential center. This site is located along the western border of Belize with Guatemala on the Mopan River in the village of ... moreSuccotz. The core occupies a hilltop with six plazas that include temples and palaces. The most prominent rises 130 ft above the plaza called “El Castillo”. Vehicles use a hand crank ferry to access the site.
Places to Stay
Facing the beachfront in Seine Bight Village, Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas has a garden and a private beach area. The resort offers both free WiFi and free private parking.... more

All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a fridge, a coffee machine, a shower, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. At the resort, all rooms have a private bathroom with free toiletries.

Speaking Afrikaans, English and Spanish at the 24-hour front desk, staff will be happy to provide guests with practical information on the area.

Placencia Village is 5.6 miles from Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas.
Type:
Hotel/Resort, Luxury Hotel, All-Inclusive, Cabins, Villas
Gold Certified:
No
Area:
Placencia
Region:
Southeast Coast
 (1)
Riverfront Villas
Reopening in 2021. Aliana's is a vacation rental property located near San Ignacio, Cayo. Aliana's sits on a 50-acre farm and includes three private riverfront villas. We are a retired ... morecouple from San Ignacio Town here in Belize. We enjoy traveling and spending time with our kids and grandkids. We also enjoy hosting guests from all over the world and sharing our small slice of paradise with them. Our goal is to always provide exceptional hospitality to all our guests. See you soon!

We offer Vacation packages of 3 nights for each of our properties, including free canoe rental and river tube rental for all three days. Submit a booking request with your arrival date to inquire about availability. We will respond within a few hours to confirm if we have availability for your requested arrival date. Our packages are inclusive of all taxes and cleaning fees. There are no booking fees to you on Belizing.com.
Type:
Hotel/Resort, Family-Friendly, Villas, Vacation Rental, Private Home
Gold Certified:
No
Phone Number:
8242768
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
 (1)
Podcast
In this episode, ATM specialist Mr. Elias Cambranes from Katun Ahau Tours takes us on an amazing mind-blowing virtual tour of the ATM Cave in Western Belize. The ATM Cave is one of ... morethe experiences in Belize that you must have on your bucket list. The ATM cave is one of Belize's most stunning attractions and a visit will most certainly change your life. Until you visit in person, join us on this virtual tour with Elias and mark your calendars for your next trip to Belize and the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave.
Guest Name:
Elias Cambranes
 (1)
Take a journey through Belize with Chef Sean Kuylen and learn about the different cultural dishes that make up Belizean Cuisine. Chef Kuylen is Belize's equivalent of Anthony Bourdain ... moreand he is on a mission to define and showcase authentic Belizean Cuisine. Chef Kuylen is a household name throughout the country and represents Belize by showcasing inspired Belizean Cuisine locally and throughout the world. He was trained in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies in San Francisco, California. His No Barcode philosophy advocates for the appreciation of the local ingredients, cooking techniques, and the cultures of Belize. Follow Chef Kuylen on Instagram and Facebook for a glimpse into his daily journey featuring authentic culture and food throughout Belize.
Guest Name:
Sean Kuylen

Angela Wu, Luis Manzanero

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